Noticed changes in aircraft noise?

Published: Monday 22nd October 12

Heathrow airport is now conducting a flight pattern trial which means more planes can come into land over Wandsworth during half day ‘respite’ periods when residents would normally expect a break from overhead planes.

The 'operational freedoms' tests were approved by the Government but local councils were not given a say in the planning process.

The trial continues until March 31 next year.

Residents can provide feedback on the noise impacts quickly and easily on the council's website. Visit to enter your comments or contact BAA direct using freephone number 0800 344 844 or by emailing

Wandsworth Council is scrutinising the trial closely to ensure the noise impacts are properly considered before any of the test procedures are made permanent. The evidence collected from people living under the flightpath will be central to the council's case.

The aim of the 'operational freedoms' tests is to explore whether new procedures can be used to make Heathrow run more effectively without increasing the total number of planes landing or taking-off from the airport. The total number of flight movements remains capped.

Under the established rules Heathrow is only permitted to use one runway for take offs and one for landings. Their use is switched everyday at 3pm to give residents under the flightpath a regular break from overhead planes.

During the trial BAA is permitted to use both runways at the same time for arrivals when incoming flights face a delay of ten minutes or more. This can mean more flights landing over central London during half-day respite periods when Wandsworth residents would normally get an eight hour break from aircraft noise.

Aircraft are also being allowed to leave established departure routes sooner than normally permitted.

The trial was approved by the South East Airports Taskforce Group which was set up by the Government to explore ways of making airports 'better, not bigger'.

The trials will be undertaken by Heathrow Airport under the supervision of the Civil Aviation Authority. 

Wandsworth is a founding member of the 2M group of councils which overturned the previous Government's plans for a third runway at Heathrow in the High Court.



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Recent comments

After 4 months of intolerable noise over my area from aircraft I have come to the conclusion that Heathrow think residents are of no importance. They refuse to admit there have been any changes and state that we have always been on the direct flight path ILS. Longstanding residents are mystified by the amount of planes, and cannot believe that they are saying it has always been like this? It has made a very salubrious area undesirable to live in now. Wandsworth council please help
Anna Giannetti

15 January 2013

Interesting content on the other hand I would like to explain to you that I think there is trouble with your RSS feeds when they appear to not be working for me. Might be just me but I was thinking I would suggest it.
Martin J Potter

5 November 2012

WBC is soliciting negative comments week after week. Why such desperation?
Celia Blair

22 October 2012